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Work, The Curse Of The Drinking Class

Posted by Jim Botticelli  September 18, 2013 04:43 PM

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The L Street Tavern in olden days.

"Each night I leave the bar room when it's over. Not feeling any pain at closing time
But tonight your memory found me much too sober.
I can't drink enough to keep you off my mind." ...  Merle Haggard

"I knew a man who gave up smoking, drinking and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself." ... Johnny Carson

The L Street Tavern has been a staple in South Boston for decades. Southie has history and deep roots and is thought of as the Irish section of town. Its residents are a proud and sturdy lot and those who grew up there keep a connection to the place for life even if they move down the Riviera.

In the 1970s, Southie faced criticism for being racist. Many residents opposed court-mandated desegregation of the schools, asking why suburban schools weren't required to do the same thing. In the 1980s, the area was deluged with crime under the boot heel of Irish gangster Whitey Bulger, recently put out to pasture at considerable taxpayer expense.

South Boston has since been gentrified, but pockets of the old neighborhood remain. L Street Tavern is a bar, so although the public is free to go during open hours, regulars are a bit wary, easily spotting tourists,. If you go, act like you've been there before, mind your business and enjoy yourself. Robin Williams spoke so highly of the regulars that, despite repeated media requests, they refused to divulge a word he said while he visited the place almost nightly during the filming of Good Will Hunting in the mid 90's. A plaque boasts of the bar's 'Hunting' fame among flashing signs for Guinness and shamrocks. The tavern opens daily at noon, but closing hours vary.

The bar is located at 685 E. 8th Street on the corner of 8th Street and L Street. Take the Red Line to Andrew, walk down Dorchester to E 8th. Walk past G and H to L Street.

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About the author

Jim Botticelli, a 1976 Northeastern University graduate, is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. In college, he drove a cab and learned the city's cow paths. An avid collector of More »

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